Here is the file with the discussion of Article 18, in pdf and docx formats.
— Steve Ferg
Questions about moving the circle prior to 2016
The 2016 revision of the FIPJP rules limits a team to one attempt to throw the jack before turning it over to the opposing team, which then places it by hand. Before that change to the rules, a team was allowed three attempts to throw the jack before turning it over to the other team, which was also allowed three attempts to throw the jack before turning it over, and so on. This procedure generated questions about when a team was permitted to move the circle, and how many times it was permitted to move it.
Team A moves the circle before throwing the jack. Its throw is not successful, so it gets to throw the jack again. Before it throws again, can team A move the circle again?
Team A does NOT move the circle before throwing the jack. Its throw is not successful, so it gets to throw the jack again. Before it throws again, can team A move the circle for the first time?
Team A makes three unsuccessful attempts to throw the jack. Then team B also makes three unsuccessful attempts to throw the jack. So now it is team A’s turn (again) to try to throw the jack. Can team A move the circle before making its fourth attempt to throw the jack?
In April 2015 the French national umpires commission (CNA) ruled
The circle cannot be moved after the first throw [of the jack]. It stays in its place for the three consecutive throws that the team is allowed. It can only be moved by the opposing team, before their first throw [of the jack], within the limits specified in the rules.
However, a few months before that, in February 2015, the French federation (FFPJP) had released rule changes to go into effect on March 1, 2015 which said
Each team can, in its turn, move back the circle … if its first move [of the circle] didn’t permit throwing [the jack] to all legal distances. [Each team] can therefore move the circle back two times.
The FPUSA Official Rules Interpretations for Umpires (November 2015, Question 15) says that
A team is allowed to move the circle back for their permitted throws per Article 7 either before their first toss of the jack or afterwards. The rules are not specific, nor prohibitive, therefore, it should be allowed, even after two failed attempts to set a valid jack, so as to expedite play by increasing the chance that a valid jack might be thrown on the third attempt.
So, depending on who you choose to follow, a team can move the circle a maximum of 1, 2, 3 or an indefinite number of times. And it may (or may not) move the circle for the first time after its first, unsuccessful, attempt to throw the jack.